"A person's a person, no matter how small"
from the book Horton Hears a Who
Theodore Seuss Geisel was born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1925 and proceed on to Oxford University in London with the intent of acquiring a doctorate in literature. While attending Oxford he met Helen Palmer, who he later married in 1927 at the age of 23. In 1927 Theodore returned from Europe and then began working for Judge. At that time Judge was the leading humor magazine in America. He was also submitting cartoons and humorous articles for them. He also submitted cartoons to Liberty, Life and Vanity Fair magazines. In some of Theodore's early works, he made reference to an insecticide by the name of Flit. The references had gained notice, and led to a contract to illustrate comic ads for Flit.
In 1936, on the way to Europe for vacation, he began listening to the ship's engines. From the continuous rhythm of the engines, he came up with the book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. This book was rejected by the first 43 publishers that he showed it to. (If that were me I'd give up but I guess Theodore really wanted his books published.) Eventually, a friend published Geisel's book for him in 1937. It went on to moderate success.
The United States entered World War II and Geisel joined the army. During his army career, he continued writing and drawing. Captain Geisel would write documentaries for Frank Capra's Signal Corps Unit, for which he would win the Legion of Merit award. Geisel also won the Oscar's for Hitler Lives and Design for Death and created a cartoon called "Gerald McBoing-Boing" which also won him an Oscar.
In May of 1954, Life magazine published a report concerning illiteracy among school children. The report quoted, "Among other things, that children were having trouble to read because their books were boring." This report inspired Geisel's book publisher. He sent Mr. Geisel a list of 400 words that he felt were important. He then asked him to cut this list to 200 words that a first grader could read and then put into a book. About nine months later Dr. Seuss, Mr. Geisel's pen name, used 220 of the words given to him publish "The Cat in The Hat." It became the first of one of Random House's best-selling series, Beginner Books. "This popular series joins engaging stories with outrageous illustrations and playful sounds to instruct basic reading skills." "Children want the same things we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained, and delighted." stated Dr. Seuss. Brilliant and playful, Dr. Seuss charmed his way into the minds of children and their parents. In the process, he helped kids learn to read.
In 1960, Bennett Cerf made a $50 bet with Geisel that he wouldn't be able to write a whole book using only fifty words. The result of the bet was "Green Eggs and Hams", and Cerf paid the $50 ("that was a lot of money back then").
Helen Palmer, his first wife, died in 1967. Theodore Geisel then married Audrey Stone Diamond in 1968.
Dr. Seuss is the author and illustrator of 44 children books, some of which have been made into audiocassettes, videos, animated television specials, and even a major motion picture for children of all ages. Geisel was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and three Academy Awards in 1984. Through his writing, Dr. Seuss was able to tackle important issues and disguise them as childrens books. His stories had such an impact that The Universal Studio's Theme Park ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE has a part of its park designated for Seuss lovers of all ages: Seuss Landing.
Theodore Seuss Geisel died on September 24, 1991. Even after his death, Dr. Seuss continues to be the best-selling author of children's books in the world.
His books are for children from ages 3 - 93. Who knew that reading could be so much fun. I guess Dr. Seuss taught us more than we could ask for.
READING IS KNOWLEDGE. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!!!!!!